Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Multi-Function Chickens -- Permaculture in Action

"D" commented about my permaculture solution to the deep pit beside my driveway. Let me state that I wasn't seeking a permaculture solution per se, but just a sensible solution. And the hugelpit fit the need. Long before I heard the term permaculture or hugelkuktur, I called this project my biotrash pit. In fact, I still call it a biotrash pit. 

My chicken set up is another permie type example of what goes on around here. The chickens eat the farm waste from the gardens. Grass clippings from around the farm goes into the pen for bedding, of which the chickens eat quite a bit of it. The bedding gets harvested regularly and used as fertilizer for the plants. The chickens also get let out to forage almost daily, thus controlling the bug and lizard population. They also eat the occasional mouse they come upon, thus contribute to rodent control. 

Besides fertilizer, the girls give me eggs and meat. Nice bonus. 

And when I let a rooster live in with them each spring, they brood and hatch out new chicks for the flock. 

I didn't create this system solely because it was a permaculture system. No, I did it because it made efficient sense. It's a nice homestead "circle" .....crop waste + bugs + grass fed to chickens produces eggs & meat & baby chicks, which produce fertilizer, which is used to produce veggies & fruits, which produce crop waste, which gets fed to the chickens. 

The homestead hosts other examples of circles and stacked functions. It's just the way it runs on a self reliant homestead. The sheep-donkey-pastures-food forest is another example with the system supporting the livestock and providing human food too. Again, an example including both horizontal and vertical food and resource plants. 

Not only circles and stacking, but interconnected webs. They are all variations on the same ideas. Example : Ponds get runoff from greywater filter systems, ponds support plant life and fish, excess pond water (with fish derived nutrients) goes to garden beds, excess pond plants go to the compost bins, pond water and compost go to produce food, which produce waste to feed livestock (and compost bins), livestock manure used for compost/fertilizer. Compost goes back to the garden beds. Worms from compost bins feed the fish. Aahh, the interconnectedness of all things. 

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